Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Suggestion Unboxed - You as a Young Comics Creator

Doug: Back in October we ran a post requesting ideas from our readers. We promised to run all of those suggestions at some point. While we've covered many of them, it's been a while since some of those thoughts graced our blog. Here's another one:

William: Did you ever create any of your own superheroes or villains when you were a kid? And if so, what was their story, name, powers, costume, etc.? I personally had my own entire superhero comics universe called "Superior Comics". 

I think it would be real interesting to hear what crazy (or not so crazy) ideas some of you guys might have come up with. 



Humanbelly said...

Stillllll busy w/ load-in-- but I can toss in an early contribution right-quick before running off.

At about 12 years old or so, my buddy Bryan and I came up with a comic-strip/MAD magazine style little diversion (basically a gag-strip)for a couple of weeks with the hyperbolic name of "COL. VON TORTURE AND HIS NAZI SUICIDE DEATH SQUADRON". A reverse parody, more or less, of Nick Fury & his Howling Commandos. Done with all of the obvious schtick and artistry of the comics that Nate Wright often draws in BIG NATE. Blind tank driver, ridiculously dangerous attack-dog mascot, etc, etc. All the pages lost many, many years ago in, I believe, a basement flood. Hoo-boy-- as jarring as the premise seems, I do remember finding it surprisingly amusing upon rediscovering them in adulthood. . .

(Yeesh, kids. . . )


B Smith said...

One of the many comics created in adolescence was "Lightning Man", a parody (ho hum) signed with the nom-de-comix Gil Kane.

As you might guess, just about every third panel was an "up the nose" shot.

William said...

What a coincidence. Just yesterday, I was looking for some paperwork, and I came across a box full of my old home-made comics that I created when I was a kid. And then today we have a topic about that very thing.

I personally had an entire superhero universe with dozens of characters. My favorite was probably Cougar Man, a hero with the speed, strength, and agility of a mountain lion. I also had Power-Star, Captain Mighty, The Red Cape, and Captain Commando, and many others.

Some of my super teams were The Superiors, The Protectors, The Super-Six, and The Amazing Heroes. Which included characters like Speeding-Man, The Light Ringer, Cosmic Kid, Stretch, Mighty Knight, Hurricane, Splash, Misty, and Dynamic Man.

Some of my villains had names like Dark Evil, Death Cat, The Pitbull, The Serpent, Doctor Destruct, The Boa, I.Q., The Black Ghost, and Dr. Dynamite.

I have many many other characters that would take too long to list here. From the time I was about 10 years old, all the way through high-school, I created dozens of multi-page comics that were written, penciled, inked, colored, and stapled together. And as I said earlier, I still have many of them. They look pretty crude to me now, but they were a lot of fun to make then.

These days, I do my own Marvel and DC comics using action figures which I post on my website. I miss doing my original characters (even though most of them were based on existing Marvel and DC heroes and villains). I just don't have the time to draw them anymore. I did make a custom action figure of Cougar Man though.

Dougie said...

I was in my late teens in 1981 before I tried to come up with my own characters. They were hugely influenced by the New Teen Titans but were based in Edinburgh, under the castle. The Protectors included Terra ( 2 years before Tara Markov), Lynx, Black Belt, Oracle and Horus. There wasn't really anything Scottish about them and their major villain was an Arcade knock - off named Roulette. Their pencilled and ruled pages were all swipes of Cockrum, Staton, Perez, Dave Gibbons- you name it. And about a decade later, Liefeld's process was pretty similar.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, my friends and I actually made up superhero identities (and a bunch of really cheesy villains) and pretended we were crimefighters. I actually wrote a novel last year based on (or inspired by, I suppose) those childhood superheroes, but I'm not sure it's publishable, so I'm currently working on something else. But yeah, those goofy heroes from my childhood are still rattling around in my brain :)

Mike Wilson

dbutler16 said...

I did create my own comics, but I don't remember much about them at this point, and my father threw all that stuff out decades ago. No sentimentalist he. I do remember having a character that looked suspiciously like C3-PO and had powers suspiciously like Iron Man, and another character that had the same powers as Color Kid from the Legion of Substitute Heroes. Yes, really.

Kirk said...

Love this topic! A budding cartoonist myself, I created a ton of characters as a kid. My longest-running strip (in my house, anyway) was Super Squirrel. I loved Disney comics, superheroes, and Jay Ward cartoons, so SS was an amalgam of Superman, Super Goof, Super Chicken and Underdog. I borrowed the four-part structure and breathless narration from the Underdog cartoons and the millionaire playboy secret identity from Super Chicken.

SS was a bit of a klutz and often defeated the bad guys by accident, ala Super Goof. His rogues gallery included Doctor Aerosol, Captain Glue, The Jack-O-Lantern, and a Man-Thing inspired garbage monster called Gunk. They eventually formed an evil super-group to defeat our hero. They called themselves F.O.E., which stood for Followers Of Evil. I patted my eleven year-old self on the back for that clever acronym.

londonlee said...

In my early teens I invented a parody superhero called Super Spazz who was basically a rip off of Don Martin's Captain Klutz. Think I did 10 issues in all, pencil drawn on A4 paper folded in half. I created a lot of villains for him to fight but the only one I remember now is Super Fart who could fly powered by the force of his farts.

I also created a detective called Max Factor but never did more than a few short strips with him

Doug said...

LondonLee --

Welcome over from Twitter! We appreciate the comment. And don't be a stranger.


pfgavigan said...


. . . sigh . . .

Yeah, I did.

Took the 'rogue' police officer.

Added one improbable accident.

Checked out the periodic table and came up with something that I thought was clever.

Mixed well and behold . . .

The Copper Copper!!

Must you guys make me remember stuff like this ????



Anonymous said...

I created a super villain called Borzoi, which I think was like a Russian wolf or dog-breed. I'm not sure if I got that from an encyclopedia or where, and I've never seen the word or thought of it until now, thanks for the repressed memories, haha!


Humanbelly said...

Super Fart.
Soooooooper Faaaaaaaaarrrrt!!!

LondonLee, I am now going to be hopelessly obsessed with your creation. . .
The sheer, brazen, unapologetic (I was going to say "in-your-face", but decided that would be an unfortunate phrase in this instance) shameless courage of it has me ensnared. Yeesh, and I even tend to eschew scatological humor as a rule-! And I might suggest that the ultimate team/buddy duo we have here could well be Super Fart and Copper Copper-! Together again for the very first time!


This is all great stuff, teammates! It's wonderful to see so many other folks who at some point were willing to take the personal creative risk of creating universes of their very own-! Ah, what a great world we live in. . .


Anonymous said...

Keep in mind I grew up in the '80s & '90s...

The Outcasts! A group of in-yer-face EXTREME street heroes, some of whom were homeless and fought the REAL problems:

John Sabbath - super-strong, lots of attitude, the leader
Vampire - low-level super-strength, super agility, heightened senses. The young upstart. Named Vampire because he had fangs, pointed ears, and red eyes.... Also had a mullet. I created him when I was 11, and he was the first super-hero I made up who was not an obvious rip-off. Unless, of course, you've read a comic with an obscure character named Wolverine...
Rockpile - former gang member who could create localized earthquakes. The only female member.
Darkblade - former veteran who possessed black swords that could cut through dimensional space. Looks and acts a bit unhinged, but in another universe he's a hero. Adam Strange, basically, but so much edgier, man!
Half-Man - mute monster covered with scales & spikes. Man- Thing, basically, but so much edgier, man!

I had dozens of other super-heroes & villains, most of whom I've totally forgotten. My comic company was going to be called Faultline. I made up a logo with cracks in it and everything.

I also had a team of more reputable heroes called the Watchmen. I remember seeing a trade paperback with the same name, and thinking that comic won't be remembered when I'm older and drawing these comics for real. After all, 12 year-old me had never heard of it!

- Mike Loughlin

Anonymous said...

Hmm well as a young kid I used to doodle endlessly, drawing stick figures and making up super teams which were an amalgam of the X-men, Avengers and the Defenders! Good thing I threw away most of those ..... :)

- Mike 'doodle boy' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Redartz said...

Wow, there's a whole universe of imagination out there! I didn't display so much, did numerous comics but they all featured existing characters ( particularly Spider-man). Lots of Romita swipes.

Come to think of it, I did create one comic strip. Not exactly a superhero, though. It featured "Pizza Charlie", pizza maker extraordinaire ( who did have a frequent tendency to drop his spinning dough). Hmmm... perhaps I spent too much time at Pizza Inn...

MattComix said...

My handle "MattComix" comes from my making my own comics as a kid. Basically it was something I came up with to put in the corner like the Marvel or DC logo.

These were drawn with a felt-tip pen on notebook paper and stapled at the sides. Some of them were of DC or Marvel characters but then after seeing the movie Condorman on Showtime I got into this weird thing of really wanting to know more about the actual comicbook that Woody Wilkins created (probably due in no small part to the fact that he was living my two dream jobs at the same time: being a comicbook artist and being a superhero) so I ended up doing this little Condorman series for about four or five "issues" that basically cast him as a Captain America type with more Falcon style wings working for SHIELD.

He became leader of a team of characters made up by my friends called Freedom Force that included PowerSurge (guy who had energy absorbing powers) and Agent-X (who was a Snake Eyes/StormShadow type ninja).

Sadly, I never got around to bringing Laser Lady into the story. ;p

Graham said...

Sorry I'm late coming to this, but I created a super-hero when I was in the fourth or fifth grade, but I cannot, for the life of me, remember his name or super powers.....I want to say maybe it was "Ultra Man," or something like that. I wrote and drew a story and it's probably in a box at my mother's house because neither of us ever throw anything away. :)

When I was thirteen or fourteen, and really into Conan and the ERB characters, I created a barbarian/fantasy type called Valkor. I do remember this more vividly. I wrote a story called (don't laugh) "The Walking Dead," and actually turned it in for a grade in my Writing class at school. Got an A, I think. I remember doing sketches (or as close as I could come to them) and planning to draw it, but I don't think I ever did.

William said...

Wow! There are some really awesome ideas on here. Most of this stuff we came up with as kids sounds much better than what is actually being published these days.

[sigh] This thread really takes me back. For as long as I could remember all I wanted to do when I was a kid was work in the comic-book industry. I even went to art school (after a stint in the Coast Guard). But I met a girl, got married, and life got in the way. So, I had to get a "real job". But, I guess I never outgrew my love for it all.

Ironically, I don't think I'd even want to work in the comics field as it is today. The stuff that is "popular" now just doesn't appeal to me. The style of what is considered a good comic has radically changed from what I/we grew up reading and enjoying. I don't think I'd even know how to create something that would be acceptable by today's standards.

Edo Bosnar said...

Man, really late to this party because yesterday, a national holiday in Croatia, we had a snowstorm that knocked down a phone pole so we were without phone/internet service for almost a full day.
But I still felt I had to put in my own contribution: yes, I created a bunch of heroes and villains. When I was really little, I just made up heroes named after any cool animal that caught my fancy in the many kids' nature/animal books in our school library, like Jaguar, Ocelot (really liked wild cats), Golden Eagle or Caribou (yes, really).
As I got older, I took a more 'serious' approach, but unlike a lot of others here, I basically imagined them in the Marvel U. One idea in particular I still remember putting a lot of thought into was a group of super-powered youths (late teens/early 20s) who lived in an out-of-the-way town in some place like Montana or Wyoming that was secretly home to a bunch of super-scientists with possible ties to an alien race like the Kree. The heroes were mutated due to experimentation (beneficial to be sure) by the scientists. I called it the Secret Sector. Some of the heroes were Sunray (solar powers), Blue Dynamo (manipulation of electricity), Cougar and Puma (twin brother and sister Wolverine knock-offs), Tetrus (strong guy with four arms), Osprey (with wings like Angel), Jet (like the mineral, with super-hard, shiny black/gray skin) and a few others, especially a telepath/telekinetic, but I can't remember their names any more. The scientists running the town acted as their mentors and teachers. It was kind of like a combination of the X-men and the Inhumans. Besides drawing a few character sketches, I never created any comics, but I did have a ton of stories for them that were all in my head - I never wrote them down.

Dougie said...

I also wrote pages and pages of sword and sorcery pastiches about the primeval land of Mu between the ages of 14 and 16: Conan and John Carter mash-ups with a bit of Flash Gordon thrown in. The UK Sphere Conan paperbacks and the Atlas of Fantasy sparked it all off. Once I discovered Moorcock,a shameless Elric rip-off got me an A in S5 English, not like Graham's story.
Last year, I taught a student who submitted a piece for his English folio that was basically Firestorm's origin from the Flash tv show. I also teach a younger laddie who's fascinated by 13-year-old Jim Shooter's career!

Dougie said...

" not UNLIKE"! Arrgh. Me type Bizarro English.

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